Loren - Motherhood Journey
Next on our Motherhood Journey Q&A series is Loren Recchi! Loren is a new mother to a beautiful girl, influencer and conscious living advocate.
How do you find balance between all the roles you play in life now?
Wow thank you for the beautiful introduction. Balance hey?
The journey of pregnancy and motherhood creates ultimate turmoil in keeping balance, so I love to keep in mind the following:
No moment will last forever. During the difficult times, know that it will end soon, and during the sweet moments cherish them like no other.
Balance is a conscious thought at the forefront of each action and decision I make and I love to keep this saying in mind, constantly reminding me of how fleeting each moment is. This helps me to put down my meal, pause a conversation, walk away from work etc and prioritise what Esther needs from me in that moment.
Though I admit it is difficult not to get caught up in negative thoughts about the ‘sacrifice’ mothers devote to their new babies. I try not to be hard on myself when I find myself in a negative headspace.
How do you find the journey to motherhood with your baby girl Esther?
It was a journey that had all the aspects of a true transformation. As someone who typically overthinks everything, being pregnant during the chaos of 2020 was not a time for too many set plans.
There was a moment in the second trimester when I believed that I could be whole in chaos. That I am strong in moments that are uncertain, that I could be the mother I envisaged if I listened to my inner voice and shut the rest of the world out.
What did you find the most difficult to adapt to?
Not being able to perform the tasks and achieve goals in the way I once did.
I have always been someone who overfills my workload, do it myself, do too many things… I learnt through pregnancy I needed to wind down but it took until about 4-5 months postpartum for me to actually ‘slow’ down. There were many mental hurdles I needed to overcome to achieve this.
What was your first reaction when you found out you were pregnant?
Full. I remember the feeling of energy entering my body and completely consuming me. A bewildering amount of emotion, a blend of happiness and excitement. I couldn’t contain myself. I had very sporadic menstrual cycles due to my blood disorder so the lack of consistency meant uncertainty when it came to ‘timing’.
I took the at-home test and got a faint line. A few days later I went to the doctors where they confirmed it. The first ultrasound was like an outer body experience and so special too.
Most exciting or memorable birth moment?
Wow, what a question. Excitement was probably only felt when my waters broke aka, before the intensity turned up!
Memorable!? For me personally, it was when I was in the pool and I naturally (and unexpectedly) felt my body pushing. I kept listening to my baby and body and felt each centimeter that she moved down. I felt the strongest I’ve ever felt in my life, and I reached down and felt the softest little head of slimy hair a few centimeters up. That was the most memorable moment.
What did you pack in your hospital bag? And how does preparing for birth change after you’ve done it the first time?
Too many baby clothes, and not enough undies and trackies for me! My hospital bag consisted of all of the things I read that I needed to bring. Essentials like
- snacks (this was really important),
- clothes for postpartum like a flanny,
- easy shoes,
- a notebook/journal,
- all birth ‘scene’ items like essential oils, battery candles, birth affirmations and letters from women close to my life and fairy lights…
- plus my Noonie perineal spray
- and lots of maternity pads!
Also, the best thing we had was a fresh loaf of bread, nuttelex butter, peanut butter & vegemite. This was incredible as it meant I could eat no matter what time I was up during the night and I could take a sandwich with me to the critical care unit where Esther was straight after birth for a few days.
Next time I’d pack lighter! Classic mistake I still make on every holiday! In my defence we were told throughout the pregnancy that we would be in for at least a week or maybe more so I think the over packing was due to being cautious as our hospital was more than an hour from our home.
Essentials I missed for next time will include: breastfeeding pillow and my own hand-pump or haakaa. (The electric pump in the hospital encouraged my milk too much that when I went home my swollen breasts had to be massaged in the shower for relief!)
We love offering uplifting advice to new mothers - what's one thing you wish you knew or figured out a little earlier (maybe something surprising and less discussed)?
That you’ll never be the same again after having a baby. You’ll never be able to feel like you did before pregnancy. You’ll never be the same with your partner again, you’ll never be able to work again in the same way you did before pregnancy.
Wow - well that can sound harsh! To be honest some days I do wish I would feel, look and act with my partner like I did before Esther. Sometimes I dwell on the fact that I was naive and didn’t say goodbye to my old self, which is okay.
My advice to other new mothers is that you are not alone if you feel this way. To soon-to-be mothers, my advice is that it will never be the same cause it’s not meant to. The magical transformation that motherhood offers to us is something that can’t be prepared for, it changes us forever, it creates a love like nothing you’ve ever felt in your lifetime.
A baby also changes the priorities in a relationship, cause it’s meant to. The creation of life between two people is phenomenal, as is the devotion of adoption, and creates a beautiful lifelong relationship as parents. Be you, know who you are, prepare for the transformation and cherish the journey.
You mentioned that women are required to shift and pivot continuously through life, what tips do you have to help new mothers feel aligned and fulfilled?
I truly believe that a life that is aligned is a life where you can offer your most to those around you. So naturally as being a mother requires your whole heart and soul *dramatic but not really*, aligning to increase fulfilment will bring you into a position to offer your most.
Fulfilment in motherhood is written down in quotes and stories to be from your baby… That’s partially true and will be different for each muma! With so much oxytocin and ‘feel good’ hormones happening throughout birth, breastfeeding and staring at your sleeping baby, it’s great to feel love and accomplishment but it doesn’t always lead you to feeling fulfilled as your thoughts are left to wonder. Did I do that right? Did I try my best? I don’t want to bother others and ask for help. I need to get back into the workforce, but don’t know if I’m ready.
Three things I have found that works well for me postpartum when time and energy are less available:
Follow your intuition
Your inner voice, that feeling you sense deep within, it leads you towards meeting both your own needs and those of your child.
I believe a mother’s instinct is more accurate than a google search, and I have had my mother’s intuition be more correct than medical professionals. Advice and guidelines are there to be understood and considered, but when you follow your mama's intuition you will be aligned and your baby’s needs will be met.
Share your feelings and ask for advice
Why? Each day and age is different, once over one hurdle another may arise. Sharing a conversation can help unload some of the chatter in your head, particularly after months of only speaking with your baby each day.
Celebrate the little achievements, but don’t sweat the small stuff
As new mothers it is important to feel fulfilled in yourself, but each day our babies may have other ideas and throw plans/goals into the air. They are perhaps experts at this but we love them anyway! Perspective is important and overwhelming yourself may lead to a feeling of failure. As a muma you’re already a superwoman, so set yourself up to succeed each day!
The bond you have with your baby and family feels very special, what's your secret for establishing this loving bond and connection?
I knew I always wanted children but was really happy travelling with my long term partner of 13 years and kicking goals in my career. We never put any pressure on ourselves to become parents at a particular age but when we decided to begin a family we felt it was the right time…
Knowing there is never a right time, we fell pregnant and were overwhelmed with love of the little dinosaur on the ultrasound monitor. There was ‘love at first sight’, but our connection has been something that has taken me a lot of effort to build as I always was so independent.
Meditation and hypnobirthing during pregnancy built an incredible amount of connection and I truly put hundreds of hours into this before she was born. After birth I enjoyed flowing with Esther, listening to her, learning her, being her mother. I use the term ‘flow’ as there was an ebb and a flow. It’s incredible how fast she is developing and how at each stage she communicates with me. Our trust and respect for each other is quite special and I’ve never put any pressure on this.
I’ve put my intuition first above everything and this has been paramount for understanding her cues and needs. We are learning more and more about each other everyday, I’m truly grateful to have her by my side as she has taught me so much about myself, my body and my resilience.
What does 2021 hold for the family and what do you wish for Esther?
I hope to continue growing with Esther and seeing the world through her eyes. Esther is so contagiously positive, she loves to be outdoors where things are happening and smiles at strangers, so we’d love to encourage this as a family as much as we can.
This year we’ll also be welcoming her new milestones of crawling, walking and talking so it would be lovely to spend some more energy exploring where we live at the Sunshine Coast, going on more camping trips and building on some exciting business projects we have in the making!